View Full Version : Lawson's Landing in Trouble.. Let's Help!

02-18-2006, 10:02 AM
For those of you who launch, fish, camp, etc.. out of Lawson's Landing at Dillon Beach, they are in trouble and could use our help. Sierra Club along with the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin are moving to shut them down. All it takes is a few minutes to print out a form and send a fax! This is just another example of groups trying to restrict our fishing. Sad but true. This is a great opportunity to do a little to save a lot!

HELP SAVE LAWSON'S LANDING (http://www.fishsniffer.com/cgi-bin/forumsyabb/YaBB.pl?board=west;action=display;num=1140030399)

02-20-2006, 04:04 PM
Yah, help Lawsons go forward with a plan to build a big septic system that will be in an area of a high water table so they can keep those trailers that are already there. Hmmm, I wonder where all the sewage has been going before that?

I've been told they take good care of the land. Say, didn't there used to be some great clam beds out front?

If they want to get rid of the trailers or haul the sewage out, ban dogs, limit campsites, I am all for them. So far they don't .
So what good is a place to stay when you are fishing if it starts interferring with habitat the fish live in.

02-21-2006, 01:35 PM
lawson's is the first to admit they've got some sewage issues. however, they've worked diligently with the coastal commision over the last six years to address complaints from every environmental organization that can come up with an acronym to make things right. the coastal commision had signed off on "the big plan" but the environmental groups protested the coastal commission in court for not requiring lawson's plan to undergo an environmental impact study. that's what is currently at issue. [i posted on this topic under general]

personaly, i'd like to see lawson's address any outstanding environmental issues that were overlooked in their big plan. the hardcore environmentalists want to raze it. i'm not for that.

more reading:

minutes from coastal commission '00:

other reads:


just type "lawson's landing coastal commission deny" into a google
search, you'll see all the players.

02-22-2006, 09:00 AM
right on Donzi I'm gonna fax them today. BTW Lawsons has been there for 49 years and the fishing has sucked in tomales bay for about two years. You do the math.
Ban dogs...Sheesh!!!

02-24-2006, 12:17 PM
Well that's wonderful that they are working with the coastal commision, what about Marin County where they have some compliance issues.

First off the proposed septic system does not meet the specs the county makes everyone else meet. The wastewater moves too fast and doesn't give the bacteria enough time to digest it and break it down. Not to mention it will be under some of the campground and into a wetland. Oh, did I mention that it will be in a sand dune area, which is not considered stable ground.

Secondly, there is an issue over something called the Williamson Act that governs how the land is used. There is a question about some of the campground and septic system being in an area the Act says may only be used for Farming or Ranching.

Third, there is an old issue about sand mining on the property. The permit says they are supposed to restore the land and that the dunes will regrow from blowing sand. Didn't happen they let ice plant and non native grasses grow over the sand and now experts say they won't be able to get rid of it.

I've been to Lawson's landing a couple of times and I don't get why they think those old run down trailers are necessary, except so they can make money off of them.

There also seems to be an issue about the clam beds. Lawson's ran a barge over there until the beds were found to be getting depleted. Now, more people know about it and go over there from the campground. Game and Fish often cite people for taking over the limit in clams. If Lawsons was so great, you'd think they would post something warning folks they will be kicked off the site if they are found taking illegal clams.

I think Lawsons should have a campground there, but they need to have a septic system that meets county standards like everyone else and they should promote good stewardship by encouraging people to observe fishing and claming limits.

It's pretty obvious they are out for the bucks. They talk like they want to limit the development but really they have always been on the bleeding edge of an illegal operation so they haven't tried to do more. Look at the campsites, they don't keep the cows out, you have to dodge the cowpies and occasionally put up with having a tent pole knocked over. Not to mention the question over locating some of them on land that camping is not zoned for.

02-24-2006, 01:33 PM
Well that's wonderful that they are working with the coastal commision, what about Marin County where they have some compliance issues.

they are. read pages 7-10 from september -05 marin planning commission meeting: http://www.co.marin.ca.us/EFiles/docs/CD/PlanCom/05_0912_MN_051129134737.pdf

I've been to Lawson's landing a couple of times and I don't get why they think those old run down trailers are necessary, except so they can make money off of them.

Issues raised during the public hearing portion of the meeting included:
Owners have been good stewards of the land, diligently maintaining natural resources
Affordable public access is consistent with the Coastal Act of 1972
All people deserve to have access to the beach, not just the wealthy

i don't dissagree that lawson's has work to do. i know the owners and believe they are upright folks running a business, providing a service the public clearly wants, and they provide it at a price that is affordable and competitive. they live pretty low to the land and work awfully hard for folks some claim to be "raking in the dough" - i don't know how well they do either way.

i think it's important to bear in mind how different the political - not just the physical - landscape looked 86 years ago when the lawson's family purchased that land and started their ranch and eventually the campsite and quarries. i think they're making an honest effort to do right.

it seems that some are well read on the sierra club's opinion regarding lawson's. in general i think that the sierra club is a force for good, but i believe their agenda with the dunes is to legislate lawson's out of business so that MALT can purchase their land at a bargain and restore it to it's pre 1920's vintage. pretty, but that would be a crippling blow to the tomales bay fishing community. i'd prefer something in between. lawson's is as precious a harbor and getaway as it is a dune. i

[for the record, i do not launch from lawson's and my family donates to MALT]

02-24-2006, 04:42 PM
The Williamson Act was created to protect and benefit Farmers and Farm lands from high taxation by the State and Counties. The Farm owner signs up for the williamson program for it's tax benefit but must abide by its law as it is written. He can not change the property use from Farming to something else. The owner may withdraw his property from the Williamson Act by presenting his request to the county . After acceptance the exemption term is a 10 year wait. Or he can pay up front whatever penalties and tax the county would assess so he can expedite his exemption to do whatever he plans to do with the property. In most cases it is to sell to big developers.
With all this said, each County can be different or have a little different spin or price involved.
Most people that own Farm land do have it registered under the williamson Act.

02-28-2006, 05:04 PM
I have no problem with Lawsons continuing business there and I think they should be given some slack on some of the issues. Now, the septic issue can only go one way, meet the treatment standards.

I think Lawsons is being a little cute saying that it will cost too much to comply with the septic treatment requirements. They claim that they want to keep it low cost for their custumers is a smoke screen. I think what they really want to is to keep the maintenance down.

It's possible to put in other treatment systems that clean the sewage up totally. It won't be a septic system and it won't be cheap, but I bet there are financially viable alternatives. If there isn't, does that mean that they should violate health and environmental standards to provide cheap access to the coast for up to a 1000 people a day? Nope, they will just have to scale back the site